Annual Rancho Mirage Writers’ Festival – Jan. 22, 2016

Feast of Words for the Mind – Private Donor Party

Site Staff Social Scene


Angels and authors of the Third Annual Rancho Mirage Writers’ Festival gathered for conversation, music, food, and drink at the spectacular Sunnylands Center and Gardens.

Capped at 100 contributors, angels contribute 70 percent of the total festival budget with each $5,000 gift that helps support honoraria and travel for invited writers. Founder and festival chairman Jamie Kabler stood at the entrance to welcome guests arriving from the evening session with House of Cards author Lord Michael Dobbs and the “What Does Vladimir Putin Want?” panel moderated by Cinny Kennard with journalists Bret Stephens, Masha Gessen, Jason Matthews, and Marvin Kalb.

Among the 200 hundred attendees were former Governor Gray Davis with wife Sharon, founding angel Helene Galen, Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands trustee Diane Deshong, Annette Bloch, Christina Ganz, Angie Gerber with Vern Kozlen, Debbie Green, Marion Goldin, Joyce and Henry Freund, Harriet Bernstein, Sally St. John, Beverly Johnson, Susan Meredith, Cydney and Bill Osterman, Kevin Parker, Nancy Stone, Marjorie Victor, Library Director David Bryant, and the entire Rancho Mirage City Council: Mayor G. Dana Hobart with wife Vicki, Councilmember Iris Smotrich with husband Thom, Mayor Pro Tem Ted Weill with wife Jenny, Councilmember Richard Kite and Councilmember Charles Townsend.

Gypsy jazz band Hedgehog Swing entertained on the terrace, and the food was catered by Pasadena based Kitchen for Exploring Foods.

The Rancho Mirage Writers’ Festival brings together dozens of well-known authors to speak to 1,000 readers for three days at two venues: the Rancho Mirage Public Library and the Helene Galen Auditorium at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences. The mission of the Rancho Mirage Writers Festival is to bring authors and readers together for an exchange of ideas to celebrate the power of the written word.

New this year was Short Talks, which featured two authors, each speaking for 25 minutes. The festival included fiction and non-fiction, history, literature, art history and politics. Major festival partners were The Rancho Mirage Library Foundation, Barnes & Noble, The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, Deb Len Productions, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Eisenhower Medical Center, and jetBlue. Sunnylands hosted a Round Table discussion for authors only.

Rancho Mirage Writers’ Festival
71-100 Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270

Photography by Lani Garfield